Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Factors affecting students' dropout decision in developmental mathematics courses at a California community college
by Wreh, Emmanuel Leon Sieh, Ph.D., TUI University, 2015, 120; 10059567
Abstract (Summary)

This quasi-experimental quantitative research study examined factors affecting students' decisions to drop out from developmental mathematics courses at a community college in California. Three major variables were utilized in this study: the independent variables of academic challenge, degree of dissatisfaction, and personal reasons; the covariates of age, ethnicity, gender, GPA, and marital status; and a dependent variable in the form of the dropout decision. The study sought to determine if the independent variables, along with the covariates, had predictive significance on student decisions to drop out from developmental mathematics courses at a community college in California. Data for this research was obtained by using a specially designed questionnaire of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) Questionnaire for Non-returning Students (Bower & Meyers, 1979). The data was collected during the Fall 2013, Summer 2013, and Spring 2013. semesters. A total of 560 students were surveyed from both the Lancaster and Palmdale campuses of Antelope Valley College. Out of this number, 338 were female and 221 were male.

The PAWS Statistics 18.0 statistical package was used for this study. The chi-square test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were also utilized for bivariate analysis of the data. The logistic regression analysis method was the major multivariate analysis method utilized for the study. Results from the logistic regression analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between students' academic challenge and dropout decision (X2 ( 5, 560) = 26.824, p = .003). The variable in the equation indicated that inadequate study time had a significant overall effect (Wald = 6.101, df = 1, p = .014); and the Exp (B) column indicated that the less time a student used for study the greater the chance the student would drop out from developmental mathematics; course not challenging also had a significant overall effect (Wald = 9.046, df= 1, p = .0003).

The results of the Omnibus Tests (X2 (13, 560) = 29.454, and p = .006) also revealed a statistically significant relationship between dropout decision and students' personal reasons . These results showed that personal reasons was a significant predictor of dropout decision. Furthermore, examination of the Homers and Lemeshow Test (p = .099) supported the finding that the full model with personal reasons was a good fit and that personal reasons was a significant predictor of dropout decision. From the variable in the equation in, study too time consuming had a significant overall effect (Wald = 4.408, df = 1, p = .036).

No statistical relationship was found between students' degree of dissatisfaction and students' dropout decision, or between student characteristics such as age, ethnicity, gender, GPA, and marital status, and students' dropout decision.

The analysis, interpretation, and discussion of these results contributed to existing literature on students' dropout decision. The results of this research study also suggest the need for more research to be conducted on the subject of dropout decision from mathematics courses in community colleges. The study also revealed specific categories within the academic challenge and personal reasons scales that contributed most to the dropout models.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Li, Wenling
Commitee:
School: TUI University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: College Math Dropout, Community College Dropout, Community College Math, Developmental Math, Developmental Math Dropout, Math Dropout
Publication Number: 10059567
ISBN: 9781339568355
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